As a small blog, I don’t have the traffic to bring in a lot of money from Google Adsense. In my opinion, display advertising is the easiest way to make money, but not the easiest to earn.
To supplement my blogging income, I diversify the money I make from sources such as affiliate marketing.
I started making money with affiliate marketing through the niche sites I’ve created a few years ago, so I was well aware of how it worked and how it would benefit my blog.
Back in the day, I would find a product and build a website around it. It worked, but it took a lot of energy and time to get enough traffic to make it worthwhile. Today, I still have a few niche sites that bring in money that I don’t have to touch, which makes the work in the beginning worth it.
As a blogger, I didn’t want to have to work that hard to make a couple of hundred of dollars each month. The difference is that now I create content for my blog and then look for complementary affiliate products.
This is much better because the products I now refer is done with my readers in mind, which I have found profitable.
Before I continue…
…If you haven’t started your blog yet and want a step-by-step guide on how to set one up – check out my post on how to Start a Blog.
My newer affiliate strategy has allowed my affiliate income to increase by 300%. I don’t throw up a bunch of affiliate links and hope someone clicks on them (which I admit was the strategy I used years ago).
Though I’ve tweaked my affiliate strategy a bit, much of my success can be attributed to taking Michelle Shroeder-Gardner’s course Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Michelle makes over $70,000 (not a typo) a month with her blog, primarily from affiliates.
So to say she knows a little something about affiliate marketing is an understatement.
My Top Affiliate Marketing Programs for Bloggers
Finding affiliate programs used to be difficult to find. Nowadays the problem is that we’re so inundated with choices, that we either pick the wrong ones or sign up for too many.
This method turns readers off and instead of encouraging people to buy, you are getting them to mistrust you. If you’re marketing 100 items, how will your readers know if your interest in that product or service is genuine?
Affiliate marketing works well when the following exists:
- You have an audience (either through your blog or social media platforms)
- Your audience trusts you (people buy people, so if there’s no trust no one will buy from you)
- The product or service makes sense for your audience (no recommending lawn mowers to college students)
- You have actually tried the product and service and liked it (again with the trust factor, because if you recommend crap, people will lose faith in you and not make any purchases)
Having said that, here are my top affiliate marketing programs for bloggers to sign up for.
No matter your niche, you can never go wrong with Amazon’s affiliate program. This was the very first program I ever signed up for and it is my go-to when I can’t find a product or service that directly relates to my post.
Amazon has everything! This in itself makes it 100% worth it, especially when you consider that the commission is as low as 4% (this rate increases as your volume does).
You can also earn commissions off of their programs such as Amazon Prime and Music when people sign up for it.
Sign up is easy, but you may not be able to participate if you live in a Nexus state, so check their rules first. You can sign up for Amazon’s Affiliate Program here.
This means that once you apply to and are accepted into Shareasale, you will be able to apply to individual programs within their network (most require approval, but there are some that offer automatic approval).
You can request payment when your account reaches $50 each month by check, direct deposit, or Payoneer. Apply to join Sharesale here.
Similar to most other networks, you will have to apply to each individual program before you will be able to market their affiliate links.
Impact Radius offers programs to big names such as Target, Enterprise, as well as many smaller ones as well.
The approval process of Impact Radius is a little more thorough (or as it seems) than some of the other networks. Someone will call you and ask you to verify some of the information you put into your application.
They will also ask you to place code into your blog to verify that you own it. To apply for Impact Radius, click here.
There seem to be quite a few email offers (which pays you when someone simply signs up for an offer with their email).
One thing I like about Peerfly the most is that once they accept you, you are automatically accepted into most of their programs.
Their premier programs, however, do require you to reach a certain level in sales and transactions before being accepted.
You can request a payment when your account reaches $50 from the previous month. Apply to Peerfly here.
Once you are approved by Viglink, you will be able to log into your dashboard to see what offers are available to you.
Viglink seems to work best for those who write about products, such as fashion or mommy bloggers, so if you’re doing well with Amazon, this may be the program for you.
Apply for an account with Viglink here.
If you’re looking for digital products, Clickbank is a great program to consider. The commissions for Clickbank products tend to be higher, around 50% or so, making it a bit more profitable than others on this list.
I recommend doing your research first, because depending on your niche and audience, Clickbank may be a profitable option for you. Their gravity score is an indicator of success on their platform, so you should definitely look into it.
There are also some not-so-good products, so if you want to maintain the trust of your readers, it’s worth it to buy the product from the vendor first before referring it.
Sign up for Clickbank here.
MaxBounty is an affiliate network that is great for smaller blogs. Depending on your niche, you should be able to find many offers to make money from.
If you’re having a hard time monetizing your blog or struggling to earn enough income, consider signing up for MaxBounty.
I’ve found that some of the offers are more lucrative with MaxBounty from other affiliate networks, even for the same offers.
Payment is made once your account reaches $100 every month (weekly after your first payment and each time it reaches the threshold amount.
Go here to sign up as an affiliate with MaxBounty.
These are not the only affiliate programs out there, however, I have found great success with these. I recommend them for newbie bloggers or those who don’t know what products to refer to their followers.
Need help on how to identify the best affiliate program for your blog and audience, watch the video below by Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income) on how to choose which products to promote.
If you would like an extensive list of 51 Affiliate Programs to Try, click here. It’s free and you might find a network that offers programs to fit your niche and audience better than those on this list.
Anyone can make money with affiliate marketing, but you have to choose the right program for your audience.
In addition to these networks, there are many companies that offer and run their own affiliate program.
To find out if they do, go to their website and go to their footer. If they offer an affiliate program it will be listed there (even if it’s not, send an email and ask if they offer one).
One more thing…
Not only do they each offer their own affiliate program, these are great options for most bloggers no matter their niche.